Bacon Wrapped Turkey
What you’ll need:
Brining Bag or Large Plastic Bag Deep Roasting Pan [That fits the turkey and in your oven. One with a rack inside is preferable.]
Platter or Pan [That fits the turkey and in your fridge.]
Kitchen Twine Probe Style Meat Thermometer 18-20 lbs turkey [The bigger the bird, the more leftovers. But you can adapt the recipe for a smaller turkey. Fresh is better, if frozen leave time to thaw.]
Lots of Kosher Salt
1 ½ lbs. Bacon
½ lb. Butter Herbs: Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary [Fresh is better.]
Roasting Vegetables: Carrots, Celery, Leeks, Apples
Plan time to brine your bird 2-3 days before Thanksgiving, this will make your turkey much juicier.
Remove all interior parts of the turkey [You can either discard them or use them for giblets in Keto Gravy. Another good way to utilize all parts of the turkey it to make bone broth.
When you remove the gizzard and neck, add them to a crockpot with 8 cups of water, a stick of fresh rosemary, and 1 tsp sea salt.
Cook on low while turkey cooks.
Add any left offer drippings that you don’t use for the Gravy to the crock pot as well as all the bones left over after the turkey is carved.
Cook in crockpot on low for 24-48 hours. Enjoy.]
Wash the bird (inside and out). Put the bird in a large plastic bag. [You can use “brining bags” found in most grocery stores or just use an ordinary plastic bag.]
Massage the bird (inside and out) with LOTS of Kosher Salt.
Wash your hands.
Close the bag and put it on a platter or pan.
Place in the fridge for up to 2 days.
In a food processor, blend ½ lb. of raw bacon slices, ½ lb. butter and generous handfuls of sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary and some oregano. Blend until you have a smooth paste. [This can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.]
*If you have anyone who does not eat pork, you can combine 1.5 sticks of melted Butter, 1 ½ tsp Garlic Powder, ½ tsp Parsley and tbsp Salt for an alternative mixture.
When you are ready to prepare your gobbler, bring the bacon butter to room temperature.
Take the turkey out of the salt bag and rinse it well.
Place the turkey breast side up on the large platter or pan that will fit in the fridge.
Gently separate the skin from the flesh. Try not to tear it! Lift the skin by the cavity and gently slide your hand under the skin, continue until the skin opens around the neck and over the legs. After your turkey is prepped, get ready to take your bird to a bacon spa.
Using the bacon butter mixture (or the bacon-less alternative mixture), rub it up under the skin. Use about ¾ of the mixture.
Pat the skin down and press the butter into an even layer under the skin.
Rub the bird with a little more salt just for funzies.
Rub the remaining bacon butter mixture (or alternative mixture) over the outside of the bird, emphasizing mostly on the legs.
Start the weaving! Weave bacon strips into a lattice. Cover the bird along the top/breast with vertical strips of bacon. Weave the horizontal strips through from top to Bottom. Cover the bird as much as you want with the bacon (we just covered the midsection because some of our Keto Kooks don’t eat pork). The bacon will shrink when cooked so place them close together and use as many as you can fit. [A large bird will use about 1 lb of bacon.] Tie the legs of the turkey together with kitchen twine. Place the bird in the fridge. When you are ready to start cooking, preheat your oven to 450℉. Line your roasting pan with a couple layers of foil. Cover the bottom of the pan with aromatic root vegetables: onions, carrots, celery, leeks, apples. Do not peel or chop, just remove the paper from onions, the tops from carrots, and halve the apples. Stuff 1 apple and 1 onion into the cavity of the turkey. Place the bird on the rack and set it on top of the vegetables or just directly on the vegetables themselves. Tuck some fresh sage and any other fresh herbs you prefer around the bird. Measure a piece of foil around the bird to form a shield like shape. Remove the foil and put in a safe place. [This will be used later if the bird begins to brown too much.] Roast the turkey at 450℉ for 30 minutes. Lower the oven to 375℉ for the remainder of cooking. [Generally, you need about 15 minutes of cooking per lb. of turkey.] If you have a probe thermometer you can use it to measure the internal temperature while cooking. 165℉ is ideal.
P.S. save the dripping from your turkey, they could come in handy with our Keto Gravy Recipe or for making Bone Broth.